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The Lottery-Foreshadowing

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    “The Lottery” may be somewhat deceiving from it’s title and can lead you in the wrong direction if you are not careful to notice the foreshadowing signs that is typical in Shirley Jackson’s stories. In “The Lottery” she gives two signs that are hidden deep into words that you, the reader, have to break up. She uses actions by her characters, and characters names. She leaves one more clue that is not in the story, but that fills her own life. At the beginning when the children were gathering stones, it had my mind spinning right off the bat.

    This form of foreshadowing was the first sign that let me to believe it is not the story I thought it would be when I read the title. However, everyone seemed to be carrying on with their everyday lives as if it was not the day of the lottery which is can be misleading. The black box also threw up a red flag. If this were a lottery as most of us would see it, I would think this box would be colorful and decorated and filled with excitement. This old, beat up black box led me to believe yet again that this story would not be ending the way I would have predicted.

    Old Man Warner seemed to be the man that has been through it all. I feel like Shirley Jackson gave this name to this character as another foreshadowing sign. Warner might have been a warning sign to the reader that things are not going to end up on such a high note. Warner was the town’s oldest resident and he liked to speak up and be heard, but nobody ever seemed to pay any mind to him. He also seemed very aggravated at the comments of some of the towns people about the neighboring town doing away with their lottery.

    Old Man Warner is an old man who doesn’t have many years left, so what is it to him if is the lottery winner? The last foreshadowing element that may help the reader out is not actually in the story, but in the life of Shirley Jackson. Shirley Jackson suffered from agoraphobia which is a fear of crowds. She may have been trying to cope with this disorder through her story and may have even helped her understand it. The crowd was very tense at the time of the drawing, as would Shirley Jackson.

    Facing this fear through words and imagination may have helped her fight her disorder. By not understanding Shirley Jackson’s life and literature, her ways of writing can really push you in the wrong direction of the story. However, by understanding her life and literature, it makes the story much more understanding and easier to comprehend. She gives clues throughout, but only those who understand Shirley Jackson and read her literature thoroughly, will not be so surprised of the outcome of “The Lottery”.

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    The Lottery-Foreshadowing. (2017, Feb 16). Retrieved from

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